Newsies make ratings news

'Nightly News' delivers 8.9 mil viewers for week of May 17

NEW YORK — The suddenly pumped-up evening newscast race saw leader NBC News regaining its lead over ABC News in total viewers last week, although Peter Jennings beat Tom Brokaw in the key news demo for the third week in a row.

According to Nielsen Media Research, NBC News’ “Nightly News With Tom Brokaw” delivered 8.9 million viewers for the week of May 17, while ABC News’ “World News Tonight” averaged 8.4 million viewers.

In the demo, “World” posted a 2.4 rating in adults 25-54, and “Nightly” a 2.3 rating — proving the longest winning streak for the ABC newscast since November 1996.

For the first two weeks of the May sweeps, “World” beat “Nightly” in both total viewers and adults 25-54, marked the first such victory since 1999 with Jennings and Brokaw both in their anchor chairs.

Otherwise, “Nightly” has placed first for 61 of the last 65 weeks in total viewers, and 23 of the last 26 weeks in the demo, including two ties.

For the week of May 17, CBS News’ “Evening News With Dan Rather” delivered 6.8 million and a 1.9 rating in adults 25-54.